I spotted this book accidentally on Amazon and knew I had to get it. This book wasn't on my radar and appeared out of nowhere.
The book focuses on four main climbs in different continents. Collins is an adventurer at heart and one who really loves climbing mountains. I can sense his enthusiasm through the pages, words and the art. He also loves his family and he calls the situation he's in as living in a love paradox. He mentions that he misses his family at night while he's outside sleeping under the open sky. I found that to be touching.
When his friend died during an avalanche in China, he brought along his friend's ashes to scatter at the summits he scaled.
The storytelling is fantastic. He describes his adventures in detail with beautiful imagery, either drawn or in words, the people he meets, his climbing buddies and the mountains he climbs.
There's also tension in the book. You won't know until the next page whether he had made a slip or his gear came loose to send him tossing down the side of the mountain. It happened a few times and that really made for some tense reading. I finished the book in one sitting as I wasn't able to put down the book.
I can only imagine how awe-inspiring it is to be standing at the foot of mountains, and how amazing it is to be able to scale one.
The stories moved me. The last time I felt that way was after I read Cambodia & Angkor: A Travel Sketchbook, When Wanderers Cease to Roam and The Photographer: Into War-torn Afghanistan with Doctors Without Borders. These are some of the best travelogue sketchbooks in my opinion.
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